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Co-op/Internship/Study Abroad Committee

Charge: Determine and resolve the full scope of co-op, internship issues as well as study abroad issues created as a result of RIT’s conversion to semesters, such as: developing a new definition of co-op/internship at RIT under semesters, setting a new co-op/internship schedule standard, summer training waivers for co-op, examining the potential use of the January session for co-op/internship, and developing a co-op/internship employer info session.

Final Report: Recommendations Co-op/Internship/Study Abroad Semester Conversion Committee

Committee Structure and Membership

The committee is chaired by a faculty member. It will have an academic chair representative from each college, as well as the Director of Co-op and placement. The term is this committee will be for the duration of the semester conversion implementation project.

This group will work collaboratively with oversight will be provided by the Committee Chair and by the Semester Conversion Steering Committee. The committee Chair is also a member of the Semester Conversion Steering Committee.

Alignment with the work of the Curriculum Conversion Process Committee, the Scheduling Subcommittee, the Advising committee and the Cross Disciplinary Committee is imperative.


  • Hank Etlinger
  • Manny Contomanolis
    Director of Coop and Placement
  • Peggy Tirrell
    Sr. Associate Director SCB
  • Ferat Sahin
  • Laverne McQuiller-Williams
    Academic Chair COLA
  • Mike Eastman
    Academic Chair CAST
  • Barbara Birkett
    Academic Chair CIAS
  • Mike Kotlarchyk
    Academic Chair COS
  • Jim Vallino
    Academic Chair GCCIS
  • Mary Lou Basile
    Academic Chair, NTID
  • Tynelle Stewart
    Director of Study Abroad & Fellowships

Co-op/Internship/Study Abroad


With quarters we expect evidence of work that equals at least ten weeks, at 35 hours per week for each block of co-op. With information from the programs about the various ways co-op happen now and will happen within the programs, examine various ways departments and programs plan to advise their students about options for completing the co-op experience.

Revised Guiding principle #28: Co-op experience within certain programs is fundamental to the nature of RIT and Co-op requirements vary by programs. It is important that a student be able to complete co-op requirements within a given program in no more than the equivalent of one year (52 weeks).  Exceptions under rare circumstances will be considered with approval by the Provost.

  1. Recommend a set of models for how co-op/internship/study abroad can be can be met within the semester calendar year:
    1. Consider that programs can be completed in four years (or five) with co-op included
    2. Consider how the pre-requisites for co-op  varies in different programs
    3. Consider if students can co-op fall and spring semesters of a single academic year
    4. Consider variations that include summer and/or January session options
      1. Currently with double "blocks" students could start a few weeks into one quarter and by the end of their second block have worked at least twenty weeks
  2. Currently when a student registers for co-op they are listed under a course number and eventually receive a satisfactory grade in that "course".
    1. Recommend whether students should still be afforded full time student status when registered for co-op?
    2. Devise a schema to ensure records are accurate when an auditor looks up an individual student's record after degree. Records must clearly indicate that all degree requirements have been met, including co-op.
  3. Recommend acceptable alternatives that count as co-op experience? Internship? Study abroad? ROTC training? Innovation work? Other?
    1. Should students still be able to petition for substitutions for co-op?

      Consider: Currently for programs requiring co-op, one quarter of co-op is waived for ROTC cadets of AFROTC or Army Summer Field Training and some cadets who participate in special programs can request additional quarter waivers.

    2. Should students still be able to petition for waivers for co-op?

      Consider: currently students can petition that co-op(s) be waived. This must be approved and is then awarded when an entry for the student goes onto SIS that indicates 1 quarter (or 2 or 3 or 4) of co-op waived - an RIT form must be signed.

    Within the new models recommended for co-op:
    1. What circumstances warrant that co-op experience be waived or substituted?
    2. How will that be entered into the SIS system 
    3. How should the waiver/substitution process be automated so that there is less work for departments to get the appropriate notation placed on a student's record?
  4. Determine the need for a university wide co-op/internship employer semester conversion information session (as other schools converting to semesters have done).
    1. When should this be held?
    2. What are the objectives for this information session?
    3. How should success be measured?
    4. Coordinate with Co-Op and Placement to develop this effort